Emerging Destinations: Namibia

Sossuvlei National Park, Namibia

Given our natural curiosity, our ease with different cultures, and a willingness to trust, Canadians have been known to venture off-the-beaten-track in search of the most authentic travel experiences.

Such adventures, say vacation pundits, are readily found in “emerging destinations”, a reference to the undiscovered up-and-coming places now emerging into the global spotlight. It is, in places like these, where authenticity is found in simple happenstance:

Happenstance: “I had a few preconceptions about Namibia before my trip, but the novelty of pitching a tent in the bush one day, and in sand the next, added to our daily adventures.

We traveled to Swakopmund, the adrenalin-rush region of Namibia. I spent the day sand boarding. There’s nothing more exhilarating that putting your foot down and ‘flying’ amidst the dunes at 100 plus kph only to arrive at the pinnacle of a stunning view, or travelling down a 60 degree dune on a sand board head first.

Tip: Bring a good camera. The amazing colours and ever-changing shades of the dunes are a photographer’s delight.

The highlight of my trip had to be meeting the Himba tribes, and the many activities in Swakopmund revealed my adventurous side (that I didn’t know I had). If you’ve never been to Namibia before, I can highly recommend it”.

Namibia, which you may or may not have heard of, is a country in southern Africa whose western border is the Atlantic Ocean. It shares land borders with Angola and Zambia to the north, Botswana to the east and South Africa to the south and east. The capital and largest city is Windhoek.

The landscape is Namibia’s defining natural asset. Namibia is one of few countries in the world to specifically address conservation and protection of natural resources in its constitution. People use all sorts of words to describe the country and countrysie: vast, endless, magnificent, and unimaginable … Good words as far as words go, but they don’t really do Namibia’s top attractions justice. There simply is no frame of reference, nothing that comes close to seeing the sunset at Sossusvlei, spending the day playing at Swakopmund or visiting the Himba in Damaraland.

You have to, quite simply, experience Namibia yourself. And then, no doubt, you will encourage others to visit this land that often words cannot describe.

Did you know …

  • An inhabitant of the Namib desert, the fossil plant Welwitschia Mirabilis, has a lifespan of up to 2000 years.
  • An unusual aloe species, Aloe viridiflora, which is endemic to Namibia, is found in the central region of the country and in the mountains around Windhoek.

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